From Preventive Conservation of Heritage to Preventive Conservation of Society: Three Case Studies in the South of Ecuador
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The preventive conservation of heritage has developed management and behavioral strategies that, starting from common concepts, have resulted in specific and diverse actions, depending on the local characteristics of the environment in which they are applied. In Ecuador, the experiences developed in the vlirCPM (World Heritage City Preservation Management) research project of the University of Cuenca have been put to the test through methodologies and strategies applied in Cuenca, a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO in 1999, and in the rural settlement of Susudel, which at the time of the investigation was not yet protected as a national heritage. In these sites three maintenance campaigns were carried out, two in Susudel and one in Cuenca, making it possible to perform a comparative analysis between the methodological processes applied and the results obtained, which is the main objective of this research. This proposal critically explains these methodologies, identifying the concepts applied, characterizing the specific characteristics of each reality and explaining the entrepreneurial potential inspired by these experiences. The preventive conservation of heritage, the applied actions (maintenance and reinforcement of structural elements) and their impact on the involved communities can form a powerful social stimulus that includes: the preservation of heritage, social cohesion, the empowerment of inherited assets and the strengthening of identity. The present research concludes with reflections related to the identification of the factors of the preventive conservation of heritage that have an impact on the preventive conservation of society, its memory and its values.
KeywordsHeritage Maintenance campaign Minga Resource Society Community
We would like to thank all the people who participated in the Maintenance Campaigns developed since 2011 and those who are involved in the 2017–18 experience of Las Herrerías-Cuenca. In a special way, the leaders of the communities of Susudel and San Roque, the students and professors of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism and the researchers of the World Heritage City Project.
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